Former Newcastle Chairman Freddy Shepherd has been telling the truth today and he says the deal for Michael Owen was the worst deal he ever did in his 10 years as Newcastle Chairman.
Michael Owen – while at Newcastle
We’ll go a little bit further, and say it could rank as the worst deal ever in the Premier League, and of course that’s all in hindsight, because when Michael first arrived on Tyneside, every Newcastle fan was delighted and almost 25,000 fans turned up to welcome him to St. James’ Park.
We don’t know if Alex Ferguson will include Owen in his squad for the game on Tuesday night, which Ferguson is labeling as the biggest game of the season for Manchester United – but why is he saying that?
And our little psychology of hoping the Red Devils would win yesterday and come with an 8 game winning streak to St. James’ Park, and therefore have less chance of making it 9, has been blown out of the water – but it wasn’t too logical or bright in the first place. 😀
Freddy Shepherd, who we compliment for being so honest this morning, talked to the Sunday Sun today about the Michael Owen catastrophic deal:
“It was probably the worst deal I did at Newcastle.” “That is just being frank. We paid £16M and we didn’t get £16million worth of value out of him.”
“It was a nightmare from an injury perspective.” “And there was no added value off the pitch . . . the added value was nil off the pitch.”
“I’m not having a go at the kid as he was fine when he got on the pitch.” “He came with great hopes, and people have subsequently said it wasn’t such a good deal.”
“But hindsight is a great management tool.”
We thought the fee was £17M, but with a £16M transfer fee and a weekly wage of around £110K/week, the total cost in his wages over four years would be just under £23M.
Michael played only 79 times for Newcastle with 30 goals scored.
And even when he could have made it all worthwhile by firing in a few goals to save Newcastle from relegation two years ago – in their time of need – his last goal was scored in January of 2009, and he couldn’t even get a starting place in the side in the last several games of the season.
The total cost of Michael to Newcastle was £16M plus £23M which is £39M over the four years.
So the cost of each goal to Newcastle was £1.3M and each appearance cost the club £494K, almost half a million pounds each.
Michael is now warming the bench for Manchester United, and is even sometimes seen in training, to remind us all that he’s still around, but also of his rather dramatic fall down the football ladder.
He is now worth £40M in terms of personal wealth, second only to David Beckham in terms of the wealthiest British footballer.
But in terms of playing football he’s made only 122 first class club appearances since August of 2005, when he was signed by Newcastle United.
That just about tells the sorry story of Michael over almost the last six seasons, and the very last thing we want is for him to play on Tuesday night and score against the Magpies.
That would be like rubbing salt into the wounds.